@Professor Kent: Professor Kent August 25, 2011 at 6:49 am “Ellen …

Comment on Biblical Interpretation and Credibility by Nic Samojluk.

@Professor Kent:

Professor Kent August 25, 2011 at 6:49 am

“Ellen White unmistakably supports what Bill Sorensen, David Read, Richard Davidson, Mark Finley, Phil Brantley, myself, and most faithful SDAs understand: …

You can believe Sean Pitman, and follow his advice to put your trust in evidence and your own reason, or you can believe God.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5″

It seems to me that you are equating the inspiration of Bible writers with infallibility. Even Ellen White did admit that a few errors were introduced into the sacred text by copyists who altered the original text in their attempt to clarify its meaning.

Suppose we stumbled with a statement in Scripture telling us that the moon is square instead of being round. Would we accept such assertion at “face value”? Well, in fact there are biblical texts which we need to reject on the basis of our correct understanding of God’s character.

A classic example are the verses which tell us that the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh in order to show his power on him, or the other verse which states that God incited King David to count Israel and then punished David for doing it.

Can we take those passages at face value? The Apostle Paul did use such biblical statements in his support of his doctrine of God’s sovereignty. These things are in the Bible, but my common sense tells me that I have a moral duty to reject them because they distort the true character of God.

We need to remember that Ellen White told us that God is not represented in the Bible as the writer. God did not write the Bible, but merely inspired holy men to record for posterity certain events and messages from heaven to humanity. Those men did their best, but inspiration is not equivalent with dictation. The only portion of the Bible written directly by the Lord are the Ten Commandments, and we have two slightly divergent versions of this document.

Likewise, what Jesus said came to us through human filters. The only thing he wrote was written on the sand instead of tables of stone, and the wind quickly erased what he had written before anybody had a chance to transcribe it onto parchment.

Ellen White did assert more than once that only God is infallible. Let’s not claim for the Bible what it is not. Scripture was written for practical purposes: it was meant to lead us to Jesus Christ and the pardon he freely offers to sinners like us.

The Bible is “infallible” in a general sense only, but not in the absolute sense of the word. It points to the way of salvation. The inspired authors of Scripture did not become infallible the moment they sat down to write Scripture.

Nic Samojluk Also Commented

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
@Professor Kent:

Professor Kent September 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm

“I think the Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ, or Sermon on the Mount are all better choices than the Great Controversy for effective witnessing in today’s climate. Why would this make me a non-SDA? …

Why is it you get to decide that a “true SDA” believes there is only one really effective marketing tool for the Church: mass mailing the Great Controversy?

If you really want to go for something dramatic, Bill, why not invest in Great Controversy billboards all across the continent that proclaims the Pope to be anti-Christ. Make it a dramatic, apocalyptic scene.

Put a phone number on it where people can order their copy. And be sure to put Seventh-day Adventist on it so that we can get lots of people so angry at us that we no longer have an opportunity to witness when people ask us, one on one, what SDAs believe.”

The Great Controversy book emphasizes the persecuting power of Rome. My question is: Who does Rome persecute today? What Rome did centuries ago might be relevant for what might take place in the future, but is this the best way to evangelize our Catholic brethren?

Did Paul use such a strategy in his work? Didn’t he start by commending the people of Athens for worshiping the Unknown God?

Is blaming Rome for its past sins the best way to share Christ with them? Did Jesus use such a method? Why not start by giving Rome credit for some of the good work the Popes have been doing?

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
@Bill Sorensen:

Bill Sorensen September 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm

“Satan has managed to “dumb down” and even trivialize the issues by way of the false gospel being advocated by many.

“I’m OK, you’re OK” has become the focus in the world and in Christanity in general. And, sad to say, even in Adventism. The movement God raised up to intensify the issues by way of the final judgment prior to the close of probation should put us all on edge in a spiritual sense.

A false gospel of a non-biblical security has replaced the genuine article. All true believers have adequate assurance based on the biblical norm. Today, what we hear has a closer affinity to “once saved, always saved” than bible assurance coupled with fear.

The human mind is easily deceived based on the fact we all desire some positive assurance of salvation. But when assurance is pressed beyond the biblical norm, the law is “dumb down” to a point that it has no dynamic function to motivate to obedience. “Fear God and give glory to Him” has been replaced with “love God and do as you please.” …”

I have read many of your comments, but for some reason I can’t remember them; but this time what you wrote has made a deep impression on me, and I fully agree with your comments. We need a healthy balance between the Law and Grace.

Recent Comments by Nic Samojluk

The Heroic Crusade Redux
@Professor Kent:

Professor Kent August 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

“Evidence is important, yes; but it has no match in faith. Evidence won’t rescue us any more so than it saved Lucifer; faith can.

Let the faith-bashing continue so we can heap more praise on those who peddle evidence. That’s what this is all about.”


If evidence is “important” for you, why is it then you disagree so strongly with Sean Pitman? He also believes in the relevant role of faith, otherwise he would have rejected the story of Genesis a long time ago given the geologic evidence which suggests long ages.

Aren’t you perhaps fighting a fictional enemy which has been distorted by those who read Educate Truth with liberal lenses?

A “Christian Agnostic”?
@Sean Pitman:

Sean PitmanNovember 23, 2011 at 8:57 am

“How do you know? You said that you considered God’s existence to be “likely”. Isn’t the word “likely” a statistical/scientific term based on at least some ability to actually demonstrate the odds of a hypothesis being correct?

This is my problem here. How can you say that something is “likely” when, at the same time, you say that you have no empirical evidence for what you say is “likely to exist”? – no more evidence than you have for mythological fairytales?

You see, it is your use of the phrase, “likely to exist” that doesn’t make sense to me since it appears, at least to me, that you’re being inconsistent with yourself.

If you have no positive evidence for God’s existence, and if everything that you do know appears to you to have a mindless natural cause, how then can you say, one way or the other, that the “first cause” was “likely” an intelligent God-like being vs. some other mindless natural process? Upon what basis do you make this claim?”


Thanks for this impeccable logic. I appreciate the clearness with which you demonstrate the role evidence plays in providing support for our faith.

Faith without evidence places us at risk of becoming victims of charlatans and those who have been deceived by the Devil.

Sure, there is evidence for and against a belief in God and Creation, but the weight of evidence favors the biblical teaching that God is the one who created everything that exists.

We do owe our existence to him alone and he is entitled to our worship. The moment we credit Nature for our existence, we fall prey to the artful deceptions of the one determined to destroy our faith.

A “Christian Agnostic”?
@Sean Pitman:

Sean Pitman November 6, 2011 at 12:52 am

“Part of the problem, of course, is that biologists are far better at telling just-so stories than they are at math. It is much much easier to come up with imagined just-so stories about how things may have morphed over time than it is to actually do the relevant math or to understanding the statistical odds involved with crossing the growing non-beneficial gaps between functional systems at higher and higher levels of functional complexity.”

I am reading a little book authored by Robert Piccioni, a physicist who took the time to calculate the chance of life being the result of an accident, and he concluded that such a chance occurrence is for all practical purposes almost equal to zero. The title of his book is “Can Life be Merely an Accident?”

He is also the author of another book dealing with this issue. The title is “Everone’s Guide to Atoms Einstein and the Universe.” He is not an Adventist, but he is convinced that the universe was the result of the work of a designer.

A “Christian Agnostic”?

BobRyan November 11 2011 at 6:11 pm

In this case we are talking about complex houses not just a cube – complete with embedded nano-tech capable of self-repair – self-healing, auto-paint-updating etc.

Something like this…


When your fellow atheists and agnostics view that in a moment of objectivity – they respond something like ABC News did when it reported on it…

And in this case – those houses would be found all over Mars. And the observing agnostic friend might be tempted to claim “well then complex houses of that sort must occur naturally in the rocks and sand of Mars — err… umm… somehow, because there are sooo many of them”.

For the rest of us – it would be a sign of Martians – very smart ones.

I think that Bob’s answer was superb, yet ten bloggers voted his comments down. Is the voting system rigged somehow?

God, Sky & Land – by Brian Bull and Fritz Guy
I have had the rare privilege of listening to Guy, Bull, and Pitman on numerous occasions over the years. I may disagree with them on certain issues, but I must admit that what I have seen, heard, and read indicates that all three of them do sincerely believe what they preach.

All three of them have made a valuable contribution to my theological thinking in spite of the fact that some of my views differ for what they defend. I have discovered that sometimes I can learn more from those who hold opinions which diverge widely from what I believe.